At this point in my band-career I normally have rather low expectations when performing at a venue that has the word gallery, café, grill or family fun in their respective name; however, I always try keep an open mind.
Lowell, MA: I didn’t really see enough of the area to make a formal opinion; legend has it that Lowell was once a mill town. (Which leads me to believe that since it is no longer a mill town rumors of Lowell as being a little rough around the edges may be true.)
Here’s the thing… I always try and take something positive away from any experience. In this case it would be Tepthida Khmer. Seriously, I would almost make the drive back to Lowell just to eat here again.
As of late, it would seem that culinary adventures have been a prominent characteristic of Lagoon endeavors. A few weeks ago we ate dried guppies (Korean in Allston), this weekend it was Cambodian in Lowell.
As a generality, I would place Cambodian fare somewhere squarely between Vietnamese and Thai food. Lots of fresh cilantro, mint and basil and distinct tamarind.
A little about Cambodian cuisine courtesy of Wikipedia:
Khmer cuisine is noted for the use of prahok, a type of fermented fish paste, in many dishes as a distinctive flavouring. When prahok is not used, it is likely to be kapǐ instead, a kind of fermented shrimp paste. Coconut milk is the main ingredient of many Khmer curries and desserts.
(We were warned typical Americans do not like this.)
Typically, Cambodians eat their meals with at least three or four separate dishes. Each individual dish will be either sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Chilli is usually left up to the individual to add themselves. In this way Cambodians ensure that they get a bit of every flavour to satisfy their palates.
(This would explain why our individual orders came staggered from the kitchen in five minute increments. It is normal to do a lot of sharing when eating Cambodian, which for us was limited to the obligatory, “Does anyone want to try mine?”)
The presentation was impeccable, the veggies were extremely fresh and tasty. Even the decor and graphic design was impressive. I guess from the outside I was imagining diner tables, plastic chairs and photocopied menus with corresponding numbers for ordering the food (which honestly might not have been a bad idea).
Ordering was a little strange. Our young Cambodian server, Larry, came back to the table a few times after we placed our appetizer entrée with the unfortunate news that the crispy spring rolls were not available as vegetarian, followed by sad news that they were out of Shrimp Ang. It was just an odd sequence, as if maybe we were the first table he had ever served. Or like he suddenly took over someone’s body (and inexplicably named himself Larry) and he was still trying to figure out what his normal functions were supposed to be.
But Larry was very nice. We gave him a few CD’s.
Gallery 119 (which during the show I accidentally referred to as Gallery 118) is an Art Space in Lowell, Massachusetts about the size of a normal sized living room. Maybe a tad larger.
It looked like there was a student exhibition on the walls. “Can you hear me now?” was spray painted directly on one of the walls which was delicious irony after hearing Onslo’s warm up song. Nice gentlemen, but I concede my age formally now and by affidavit later. It was just too fucking loud for me. It would have been interesting to hear the singer’s vocals. I wasn’t sure if maybe they had forgotten to plug the mic in, but no… they were just really really loud.
(According to my iPhone decibel app — they were hovering right around “possible hearing damage”.)
So basically, no one was there–with exception of the other bands and our two stowaways Heidi and Loribeth–so, it was a night of practice in a strange town in an empty gallery next to a stellar Cambodian restaurant with an awkward server named Larry.
Also, I should mention the U-Mass campus had probably long vacated their dorm rooms for the summer putting a dent into the gallery’s normal crowd.
We found out later that Onslo had to leave after their performance due to band drama, so when we took the floor we were actually only auditioning for Speakermute. We played six songs and were getting ready to cut the set list from eight songs to seven when… LARRY! Larry wandered in just in time to hear our last few songs.
Speakermute gets the award for fastest band set up ever. We were trying to clear our shit out of the way while they were just about getting ready for their first song. Pat hit one of the gallery’s movable walls trying to squeeze out of the back exit and it nearly took out the band. They were not excited about that.
I felt bad for everyone. It was just a weird night to no band’s fault. And the sad part is that Speakermute was a good band. My only criticism had nothing to do with their music… Tevas and plaid shorts are never a good idea.
The highlight might have been the preshow whiskey at the bar down the street. If you ever have a hankering for 80′s metal “Vidaroake”, I would definitely check it out.
As “Bah” as the night sounds–it’s honestly just part of being in a band. Sometimes the show’s are awesome–like our last Alchemist Lounge show–and the muse of the night is strong; and sometimes it’s just incredibly dreadful.
I give the show a C-. I thought we actually performed really well. And, we ate some great food.
Why hello, you have the most wonderful eyes, we just want to squeeze them… or eat them? Or do whatever people do with eyes besides look.
We need your opinion on what we are doing, it’s a little out of the ordinary, but we think you will like it =)
New Website, and the evolution of things…
Ok, so we can barely contain ourselves. We are so excited to have this website up. Why? Let me explain:
1. All our music is now free, you can just download it and love it (Download Page)
2. We can finally stop using our myspace as our homepage again and in the process cease to look like homeless bums.
3.If you can, you can donate whatever you want, if not that is cool too.
4. If you donate a certain amount you get crazy cool things ( Donate Page)
5. Well really its those four things that are amazing.
This seems a little KRAZY!? Free music! Are you insane?
We consider this rolling with the times. Record companies suck. They want to squeeze the life out of music and make it a commercialized craphole. Do we blame them? No, not at all. That is what sells. Every Tween from 11 to 14 is drooling on a Jonas Brothers poster as we speak. It just pains me that they probably never witness the glory of Zeppelin II or Aqualung, even though their parents probably have a vinyl copy in their basement. *sigh* So enjoy all of our stuff. Seriously. Just love it. We made it for you, and it comes from our hearts. And we know that if we make music that is awesome enough, none of the normal bullshit will matter, so cheers to a challenge right?
So what about the new music!?
So… Here’s the greatest thing (or so we think) about current technology… We are working really hard on our new album, and it’s actually coming along really well… As we finish the songs they will appear on the website! Holy shit right? And yes this means you don’t have to “wait” for the album to come out. Does this mean we’re not going to have an album? No it doesn’t, once we have enough of the new material done we will compile an album, put it up on the site and even sell it to you, (for those of you who would love a new cd or even a vinyl to hug).
Everyone on twitter/myspace/facebook have already realized they are accompanying us on a crazy journey, and we would consider this process like a TV show. Every so often a new song will pop out, then we will tell all of you and you guys can come tell us how much you love/hate it. Rinse-Repeat. It will be a constant stream of information, posters, graphics, movies, songs, love; which everyone is a part of.
The reason why this is working is because of you guys, our fans. It’s been amazing recently: booking shows, recording, playing, loving. We want to know what you guys think about this crazy idea. Seriously, just email us at band [at] lagoonband [dot] com. Try it… we’ll respond… and it will BLOW YOUR MIND.
If you are on twitter, send us a message, Follow us, we’ll follow you (@lagoonband) And if you like what we are doing help us re-tweet it! That’s all it takes. One simple word, and that is how the world changes.
If you prefer myspace, cool, send us a message, if you prefer facebook, do the same! we want to hear about it through whatever medium you enjoy. Hell, if you want to send us a damn carrier pidgeon with a note on it that says “A dingo ate my baby and you guys are why it did,” we would love to hear it.
For those of you who love to blog!!
If you write a blog about Lagoon, our albums, anything, send us a message and we’ll post it up on our website in the “press” section. It is YOUR opinion that matters, not a record company, not a magazine.
We truly love you guys, its been great! We are so excited to get you our new music and content, and we hope you are at least as excited as we are. BECAUSE THAT IS PRETTY DAMN EXCITED.
After months (I mean MONTHS) of Jake nagging me, I almost have this effing site completed. It took awhile to get my bearings back–being absent from CSS for awhile. Let us know if you experience any weird bugs. I know IE is not displaying the youtube links (I can’t say I am entirely surprised…) I still need to add the art gallery, the bio section and of course I used someone’s prefab blog template… this will eventually be designed to mesh with the site; but until then, it’s “elegant grunge”.