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Tag Archive | "portland oregon"

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Listen For The Renegade Minstrels

Posted on 25 January 2010 by Tim

The Renegade Minstrels are a new blended form of blues music with a hint of swing swagger. Listening to Frontier Blues, their latest album, is like the soundtrack for a movie set at a country fair. Good ‘ole fashioned Americana!

Original music is their hallmark. Which is great because The Minstrels are quite different from the slightly twangy southern blues. This five-man band finds a “wide spectrum of blues-inflected music compelling: all the way from field hollers to sophisticated jazz…While all five of us strive to forge something that sounds startling in its originality, we have an abiding respect for all that’s come before.

From a mandolin to guitar, drums to trombone, the Renegades layer their pieces with a more earthy quality. The lyrics are not quite up to par with the instrumentation and they sit a bit high in the mix, occasionally overpowering the rest of the music. Overall, the music is top notch homegrown Northwest folk music.

The band formed up back in 2003 with Joe Seamons leading the way and quickly adding members. The Minstrels clearly have a good chemistry though because when it comes to developing their music “the whole band works together to arrive at effective arrangements for the songs.

I always ask for input from each musician about which songs they’d like to solo on, and where they think their solo would fit best into the contour of a particular song. In creating the chords and melody, all I’m doing is crafting a structure that I believe the band can use as a springboard to surprise and delight people. After that, I focus on delivering the lyrics in a clear and compelling manner while supporting and emphasizing what my fellow musicians are doing with my guitar and harmonica playing,” said Joe.

Summer 2010 should see the first major music tour for the Renegade Minstrels. They get a lot of stage time here in Portland, Oregon but I’m sure heading out will lead to some interesting stories and fodder for more music!

The Band: Joe Seamons – lead vocals, guitar, harmonica. Jon Ramm-Gramenz – trombone. Austin Moore – mandolin. Luke Dennis – bass. Willy Gibbs – bass. Forrest Carter – drums.

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Talk with Tim TV Episode 1

Posted on 30 December 2009 by Tim

Yesterday, I broke out my new Flip Ultra HD video camera to record my first episode of Talk with Tim TV on YouTube. The weather was chilly and I started just as the snow began. Overall, we ended up with 1-2 inches in town and much more in the hills around Vancouver, Washington.

Episode #1 Notes and Links:
Pirates kidnap 40+ sailors AGAIN! http://bit.ly/53Zusj
Snow in Vancouver, WA! Go away! But it looks nice at the graveyard… Graveyard? Yeah.
Visit Ben Hughes from ObviouslyBenHughes.com http://bit.ly/5×0eFb

Last year snow in Vancouver, WA and Portland, OR was crazy. We don’t normally get snow so this year…when we got a measly 1-2″ everyone freaks out. Eeeek! Snooooow!! But the Columbia River looks great with the fog and snow and so does the graveyard. Oooh, spooky!

I’d like to put out some positive thoughts for the sailors who were captured by Somali pirates. It’s ridiculous we have to deal with pirates in the year 2009…this is a several hundred year old fad. Now it’s back in style like tight jeans and shaggy mop heads for guys (yuk!).

Music in Episode #1 by:

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Jeff Johnson on His New Book Tattoo Machine

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Tim

“Rich and horrifying” is how Portland, Oregon based tattoo artist Jeff Johnson describes his first experience tattooing a customer. Jeff is an interesting guy and a natural storyteller. He is co-owner of the Sea Tramp Tattoo Co. and has been a tattoo artist for over 18 years. Although we weren’t able to see during his speaking event at Powell’s Books, Jeff is not only an artist but a customer and he cracked a few jokes at his own expense about how wimpy he is when getting a tattoo.

TIME magazine says, “…the Portland-based inkman shares some of the weirdest, wackiest and most disgusting details of his profession, from cleaning up after chudders (look it up) to the time he tattooed a serial killer (he thinks).

Jeff Johnson author of Tattoo Machine

Jeff’s Book: Tattoo Machine

Jeff introduced his book talking about the day he received his brand new tattoo machine and the excitement which he could barely contain as he opened the package and laid everything out in the kitchen. He goes on to point out an interesting tradition where the artist tattoos their inner right thigh. Apparently, it’s a great place to hide that first (read: amateurish) tattoo. Then, in order to test out the equipment, Jeff called up one of his buddies and invited him over the check out the new equipment. After a few drinks, his friend Miguel ended up leaving with his first tatt – the Star Trek logo.

In the book, there is much more about Jeff on the road to becoming a tattoo artist. But, another funny story Jeff shared from his book was about his foray into tattooed portraits. He grabbed some magazines and sketched up some samples for customers to see. Although no one decided to buy any of the portraits Jeff had posted, one guy asked if there were any tattoos he could get for free. Seizing on the moment, Jeff offered to do a portrait. The satisfied customer was soon sporting a portrait of Bill Murray, from the movie Ghostbusters. Soon after, another guy comes in looking for the same portrait. Jeff later found out that these two were prison inmates on a weekend pass.

Before opening up for questions, Jeff read a part from his book about a tattoo gone wrong. One lady came in, a few days before her wedding to get her husbands name tattooed on her shoulder. No one knew that the woman incorrectly wrote down her husbands last name which was fairly long and of Greek origin. After the session was complete, the woman was beaming with loving pride at the tattoo. At least until her mother-in-law saw it and mentioned that the spelling was wrong. Jeffs description of this tragedy was hilarious. One of many chuckle-friendly stories you’ll find in Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories, and My Life in Ink.

From Random House:

In Tattoo Machine, Johnson lifts the curtain on an art form that has undergone rebirth and illuminates a world where art, drama, and commerce come together in highly entertaining theater. A tattoo shop is no longer a den of social outcasts and degenerates–it’s a workshop where committed and schooled artists who paint on living canvases develop close bonds and bitter rivalries, where tattoo legends and innovators are equally revered, and where the potential for disaster lurks in every corner.

The book signing went really well. The audience at the event was a diverse group – young, old, tattooed, and the curious alike. Everyone enjoyed the friendly, conversational atmosphere and Jeff’s humorous style.

Around the Web:

Jeff Johnson Author of Tattoo Machine

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